Fashion Designer Talks Juggling a Successful Small Business and Full-time Job
Fashion & Beauty Lifestyle

Fashion Designer Talks Juggling a Successful Small Business and Working Full-time Job

(Image: Rickey Allen)
(Image: Rickey Allen)

Your dresses have a unique fit and flare with eye-catching colors and bold prints. How do you find creative inspiration?

I get a lot of my creative inspiration from retro styles of the 50’s and 60’s. That is my favorite era of fashion because the feminine aesthetic of the clothing was impeccable. It is my desire to bring that look back to the forefront for women. I firmly believe that our clothing and what we wear directly affects how we are received. My goal for Li Li’s Creations is to continually provide clothing that is classic, elegant and timeless, adding a cultural dimension to each piece.

What do you love about African prints?

I chose to work with African prints because they have always stood out to me as unique and special. I am a culturally strong person and finding ways to express it through African prints was a natural symmetry for me. I consciously choose colors and prints that are eclectic not completely traditional. I think this aesthetic is brought to life even more when combined with retro lines.

Why did you choose Etsy as a platform to market and grow your business vs. your own website?

I chose Etsy as a platform to market and grow my business because it provided support that I felt was needed for someone just starting out. Etsy is known for its handmade sellers, it is trusted to provide quality shops, along with providing the necessary support needed to be successful. It is a great platform for someone who wants to sell their handmade items because it eliminates a lot of the guess work needed in starting your own website.

How do you manage your full time job with the demands of Li Li’s Creations?

There are a few parameters that I have in place to help me manage the demands of both my full-time job and my part-time business. The first being customizing my delivery time frames. I  also dedicate weekends and evenings for production. Third, when required whether it is preparing product for an event or order demands I will also utilize the vacation hours to aid in meeting the demands of my Etsy shop.

What are your top 3 lessons learned in business?

  1. Proper presentation of my work has increased my sales through professional imagery.
  2. Constantly staying engaged with my followers has allowed them the ability not only get to know me but by creating hash tag’s such as #LILIGIRL has built a social media family of ladies that represent my brand in the most exceptional ways. When used correctly social media can grow your business.
  3. Staying the course is the greatest tool to have when building a business. Having the drive and focus has greatly assisted me in continuing to evolve and grow my business in spite of whatever challenges may come.

What are your top 3 accomplishments?

  1. I opened my Etsy shop as a birthday present to myself on 8/6/13. The increase of my monthly order went from an average 10 orders per month to 19+ orders a month
  2. Gained the acknowledgement and attention of R&B Artist Chrisette Michele.
  3. Published in magazines such as Dream Teen Magazine as well as being recognized on various blogs such as ALLTHINGSANKARA.

Visit Li Li’s Creations and follow Malacia N. Anderson on Instagram.